Submitted: July 11, 2017
Defendant's Motion for Judgment of Acquittal DENIED
L. Rocanelli, Judge
consideration of Defendant's Motion for Judgment of
Acquittal; the State's opposition to Defendant's
Motion; Rule 29 of the Superior Court Rules of Criminal
Procedure; the facts, arguments and legal authorities
presented; statutory and decisional law; and the entire
record in this case, the Court finds as follows:
Defendant Relando Maxwell was indicted on charges of Assault
Second Degree, PDWDCF (2 counts), CCDW, PDWBPP, Aggravated
Menacing, and Conspiracy Second Degree.
Defendant was represented by counsel.
Defendant rejected a plea to the lead charges of Assault
Second Degree and PDWDCF (1 count).
case was presented to a jury on July 13, 14 and 15, 2017.
Defendant stipulated that he was prohibited by Delaware law
from possessing, owning, or controlling a deadly weapon,
including a knife of any sort.
jury found the Defendant guilty of the charges of Assault
Second Degree, PDWDCF (2 counts), CCDW, PDWBPP, and
Aggravated Menacing. The jury found the Defendant not guilty
of the charge of Conspiracy Second Degree.
Defendant filed a timely motion for judgment of acquittal
pursuant to Super. Ct. Crim. R. 29(c) on the grounds that
there was insufficient evidence to support a finding that
Defendant possessed a knife, which was a necessary finding
for convictions on all charges except Aggravated Menacing.
Defendant requests that a judgment of acquittal be entered on
the charges of Assault Second Degree, PDWDCF (2 counts), CCDW
and PDWBPP. According to Defendant, the only testimony to
support a finding that Defendant possessed a knife was the
testimony of the victim. Defendant points out that Defendant
himself and Defendant's co-defendant both testified that
Defendant did not have a knife. Defendant also states that
there was no medical testimony that the alleged victim was
cut by a knife.
State opposes Defendant's motion. While conceding that a
knife was not recovered and was not presented to the jury as
evidence, the State points to the testimony of the victim who
testified at trial that Defendant was waiving around an
object that was "metal" and "shining" and
further testified that the victim believed the object to be a
box cutter. The State also points to the medical records of
the victim's treatment which noted the victim's
injury as a "laceration."
standard of review for a motion for judgment of acquittal is
whether any rational trier of fact, viewing the evidence in
the light most favorable to the State, could find a defendant
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of all the elements of the
crime. There is no distinction between direct and
circumstantial evidence in making this
determination. Both direct and indirect evidence may be
relied upon to support a conviction, as long as all evidence
taken together establishes guilt beyond a reasonable
victim testified that Defendant slashed the victim's
face. The victim also testified that Defendant chased the
victim while yelling, "I'm gonna kill you." The